St Peter’s Basilica Tickets, Tours & Times (Skip-the-line, Private, Add-ons)

(37 customer reviews)


Last updated on December 29, 2021 2:51 pm
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St. Peter’s Basilica is known as one of the most popular tourist attractions found in Rome and throughout the world. From pilgrims to historians, this ancient landmark has become the cultivator for many an individual’s life-changing experiences.

More than just a beautifully designed structure, Saint Peter’s Basilica also represents the center of the Catholic Church. Home of the Pope and many catholic dignitaries, one can also find some of the most sought after historical texts ever written and some of the most prestigious pieces of art ever made.

So whether you are a pilgrim, a historian, an artist, or just really want to have your socks blown off, you won’t find a better place to visit. Seeing the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica will be like nothing you have ever experienced, this we can guarantee!

Things to know before you book:

  • As one of the world’s most famous sites, expect tourists
  • The Basilica can be closed at any time due to its religious functions
  • No photos can be taken in the Sistine Chapel


  • Visit St. Peter’s Basilica with its famous dome and catholic dignitaries
  • Walk the roof of the cathedral or delve into its mysterious crypts
  • See the best of Michaelangelo’s work and other famous artists

St Peter's Basilica from a distanceVisiting St. Peter’s Basilica is epic, to say the least! From its ancient history and architecture to its political and religious significance, the church is filled with enough imagery and information to leave you starstruck and wanting more.

A Tour of St. Peter’s Basilica will always be centered around the historical and cultural attractions found within the Vatican. Depending on your tour choices, you could see the top of the dome, or explore the famous crypts below. There is literally never enough time to cover it all in a day.

You will get to explore the interior of the chapel, admiring the paintings, mosaics, and sculptures that fill its halls. Inspect the famous Pietá, surround the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, and see where the previous 201 popes are buried, from St. Peter himself to Pope John Paul II.

And if this wasn’t enough, you’ll get the opportunity to see the famous Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the Vatican Museum, and possibly Rome from the roof of the Church!

St. Peter’s Basilica Ticket Prices 2019

Tickets to St. Peter’s Basilica are free should you not want to be guided! For guided tours, prices begin at around $40 USD and can go so far as $500 USD.

St Peter Basilica ticket prices all depend on whether you’re after the standard, expansive or private tour options.

St. Peter’s Basilica Opening & Closing Times

As it’s a church, St. Peter’s Basilica is bound to the operating hours of mass times and special services.

On a regular day, you can expect St Peter’s Basilica to be open daily from 7am to 6/7pm (depending on the time of year):

April-September: 7am – 7pm
October-March: 7am – 6pm

Best Time to Visit St Peter’s Basilica

The Vatican is a never-ending hive of tourists and activities throughout the year, and as the heart of Catholicism, is always full of pilgrims and tours.

With this in mind, we wanted to surmise traveling to the Vatican into 3 timeframe categories:

Time of Year: November through February is the “low” tourist season within Rome and it is almost always preferable for traveler’s who are looking to avoid Italy’s hot, humid days. This in comparison to between March and October (peak season; mid-summer). If possible, try and aim for the “shoulder months” i.e. October, November, February, and March.
Time of Week: Weekdays are preferable as you have less of a chance of having your tour cut short by a religious event!
Time of Day: The best time of day to begin your tour would be either early morning before the gates open or an hour or two before they close when tourist traffic is at its lowest

St. Peter’s Basilica Tour OptionsSt Peter's Basilica from the river

Every Pope that ever lived has walked through these halls, since its inception with St Peter. Basilica tickets to tour these same halls are easy enough to come by, but it’s choosing the right tour that you’ll find becomes a more difficult task.

Maybe you’d want to go with the flow on the standard tour and keep it “simple”? Or you might prefer a more private tour, away from the rest of the crowd? Maybe you want to specialize a bit and visit the roof or crypts of the church! Either way, the choices are yours and you’re going to need help to make a good one.

St Peter’s Basilica Fast Entry TourInside the cathedral

Get all the history and art exposure you could ever want from a St Peter’s Basilica tour, with this skip-the-line guided tour.

Take a walk from St Peter’s Square and jump past all the queues on your way into the church, with your No Wait Access Ticket in tow. Not only will you have ease of access, but you will be guided by one of the Vatican’s very own official guides!

What we liked:Great for those looking for a well-run tour of the Basilica

  • Headsets
  • Official Vatican tour guide
  • Groups Monitoring Fee

  • Hotel Pickup and Drop-off
  • Optional Added Activity Costs
  • Cupola Entrance Ticket

You can expect to go straight inside of the church without the worry of lines or fees as your guide fills every step you take with stories and information on your surroundings. You’ll learn how this mighty structure grew from the humble church it started out as.

Take pictures, notice the details and fill your mind with stories of those who walked these halls before you. Your tour will end in the Basilica’s main hall, where you can choose to linger on if you want to.

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St Peter’s Basilica Climb and Crypts TourView of Rome from the dome roof

Take your St. Peter’s Basilica tour to the next level with the added opportunity of climbing to the summit of Michaelangelo’s Dome. Then delve into the Papal Crypts and famous Vatican Catacombs!

If you’re interested in adding something different to your itinerary and getting that extra experience whilst visiting the Vatican, then consider adding “The Climb” and a visit to the Crypts to your trip.

What we liked: Get a 360° view of the Vatican and Rome, and see where the Popes are buried.

  • Professional Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • A Lift for those not keen on climbing the stairs

  • Wheelchair Access
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

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If you’ve seen the Basilica before, make a thing of going to see the Vatican from the roof as well as the often non-accessible Vatican catacombs and crypts beneath the cathedral.

Not only will you get a 360° view to die for, but you will have an opportunity to see where the 201 Popes who have been laid to rest. You’ll also get to explore the many many other secrets St. Peter’s Basilica has hidden throughout its many layers!

9Expert Score
A fantastic opportunity to see the home of the Catholic faith in all its historical abundance. You’ll get to see the Basilica from its main halls, from below, and from the roof as you look over Rome. Try to stay for as long as you can as you will want to take in as much of it as possible!
Value for money
Level of activity
  • Get to see the Vatican in all its glory
  • Bypass any and all the queues
  • Have access to special locations
  • Often not enough time to take it all in
  • No wheelchair access
  • Could be canceled at any time due to religious functions

Specification: St Peter’s Basilica Tickets, Tours & Times (Skip-the-line, Private, Add-ons)


Not wheelchair accessible


1-3 hours


Cupola Entrance, Optional added activity costs, Food and drink (unless specified)


Extra locations, Professional guide, Skip-the-line access

Meals & Drinks

Meals not included (unless specified)


Not Provided

Suitable For

pilgrims, Couples, Families with older children, Solo travelers

37 reviews for St Peter’s Basilica Tickets, Tours & Times (Skip-the-line, Private, Add-ons)

4.6 out of 5
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  1. Anonymous

    Small groups are the way to go. Early entry is also important. Time is money. Instead of a million people you only go with half a million. Lol. Seriously, I have been to Rome 3 times. It can be like Disneyland. Viator has been a part of.many of these trips because they are efficient and usually have good guides.

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